Page images

Our propensities must be govern- mitted in the moment of passion ed, like princes, by a balance, or may sometimes be palliated. And common sense will be continually the libertine, though unpardonable, in danger from some aspiring fol- may plead the warmth of his feelly. However, as we are not like ings to extenuate - bis excesses ; to be overpowered with sentiment but to what sophistry, even, can at present, it may be 'as well for us they resort to soften their conduct, to retain what we have, for the sake who, with their spirits collected, of good fellowship. Some tem- profane the ordinance of marriage pers of mind are more easily got by hollow promises, and forfeit rid of than resumed, and the time their integrity to serve their conprobably may arrive, when, dis- venience. Hence originate half heartened by the coldness of the the calamities in society: hence World, we shall sigh for those emo- cold-heartedness, inconstancy, and tions, which we assisted to sup- lying servility. Hence the dopress. Among the vexations which mestick fire-side becomes the inI pray to be delivered from, is the sipid region of infectious yawn. vexation of indifference ; for next ings and mutual oscitancy. Hence to a bad character, in my estima- entertainment, excluded from ber tion, is no character at all.

native residence, and pursued By thus consulting our interest through the crowded circles of before our affections, and sacrific- fashion and foily, is seldom pering to lucre in preference to ceived returning, excepting on the love, we are unwisely neglecting giddy wheels of visitation, or in the that which makes poverty rich, discordant summons of the knockand without which riches, at best, Hence--but something too may be regarded as poor. Like much of this, Horario. Midas, whose touch it is fabled In attributing the evils which I afforded nothing but gold, we are have mentioned to our neglect of exposing ourselves to repine in the heart, I expect to be thought the midst of unprofitable plenty. more fanciful than wise : but, let Were the punishments, attending my readers regard me in what this mercenary spirit, only felt by light they choose, I am convinced the sordid, one might sit down that my hypothesis is correct in contented and see them inficied. the main. I am not prepared to But, in forming the connexion think contemptibly of the head, or which we are considering, there to disturb iis speculations when are many who are guided by mo- rightly indulged, though I will not tives of affection, and it frequent- consent, that Sir Gravity shall ly happens, that such fall a sacri- preside as chief arbiter alone. I fice to the insensible and merce- would, were it admissible, correct nary.

And when this is the case, the head by the heart, the heart it is but natyral in us to feel both by the head, so that one should be resentment and pity ; resentment held in check by the other, and for the counterfeit, who assumes both be improved by a mutual dethe appearance of love to conceal pendence. In this way, each orthe intent of a traitor, and pity for gan would answer the design of the unfortunate, who, deceived by its formation, and produce that professions of tenderness, submits healthfulness of mind, which gives her fortune and destiny to the con- nobility to the individual and senfrol of a niggard. A crime com timent to society.


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


SOME of our readers have to those which have been already inquired, what is the definite mentioned.” meaning and object of this de- Knox thus correctly estimates partment of our Journal ? We re- the utility of these miscellanies for ply, that “ Silva" literally means filling the interstices and intervals a Wood, and our effort and ambi- of time, which happen in the lives tion is, that it should be a wilder- of those most active and busy :ness of sweets, and a repository “ There are fragments of time in for curious remarks on men and the life of every man, in which, manners, and literary fragments from inconvenience of circumstanand novelties. The origin and ces, he is unable either to read with design of literary Melanges is ful- continued attention, or to enjoy the ly explained in the Evening Lucu. advantages of select company. In brations of Knox, a liberal and those intervals, such books are learned scholar, and an orthodox pleasant, as amuse and inform in divine, who disdained to make very short sections or chapters, in merchandize of divinity, to turn a an easy and perspicuous style, resacred profession into a merce- sembling, as much as possible, the nary craft, to pander for the de- variety and familiarity of convervil, and seduce souls to Satan. sation.

« Sylvæ is one of the most ele. “ Many of the French books, ungant, as well as commonest titles der the title of Ana, are, I think, to the miscellanies of the ancients. particularly useful for the purpose The origin of it is the Greek, of filling up a vacant interval. They Hyle ; and the authors, who first are lively and various. They treat assumed it, modestly intimated by of history, literature, and arts, and it, that they had collected a store subjects which amuse, without in of timber, which themselves, or such a degree as to fatigue or exothers, might hereafter use in er. cite the mind beyond the pitch of ecting a regular structure. The a pleasant tranquillity.” Sylvæ of Statius are supposed to be more valuable than his finished compositions. In imitation of him, The numerous revolutions and many modern writers of Latin po- extensive improvements in the vaetry have entitled the miscellane. rious sciences, the facility of mulous parts of their books; and our tiplying copies of books by the art own Ben Jonson, alluding to the of printing, the brevity of life, and ancient title of Sylva, denominates its necessary duties and avocations, some of his smaller works Under- preclude even the most diligent wuods.” “Quintilian describes the and laborious student from the peworks distinguished by the name rusal but of a small portion of the of Sylvæ, as struck out with the innumerable books, daily issuing impulse of a sudden calenture, su

Knox observes, bito cxcussa calore, and assigns “ There were probably as many causes for the appellation, similar books, and perhaps as many bad


from the press.


books, written by the ancients, as stitute no justification ; they must the moderns ; but the art of print be considered abstractedly, for the ing being unknown, and conse- republick of letters is not a state quently the multiplication and pre- of moral probation. Bloomfield, servation of books being attended Phillis Wheatly, and many others with great trouble and expense, in humble life, have attracted some such as were of little intrinsick attention by their writings, not bevalue, were not transcribed, copies cause they are excellent, but beof them were not increased, and cause they are extraordinary ; as they consequently soon perished Dr. Johnson observed that dogs, by the depredations of time." by art and labour taught to dance,

Since books are so excessively are noticed, not because they dance multiplied, it is our duty to des- with ease and grace, but because troy useless, unnecessary, and per- they dance at all. Sound intellect picious productions, as the ancient and real erudition ought to exempt Grecians exposed their most puny from the lash of severe criticism and imbecile offspring to perish. those who intrude their works on

Therefore the office of a reviewer the publick ; for in the literary is, in the republick of letters, as commonwealth there is no hospitbeneficial and necessary, though al for the reception of mendicant as odious and unpleasant, as that vagabonds, no Bedlam for insanity of an executioner in the civil state. and frenzy, no Magdalen for imThey are the porters at the gates punity and defilement, and no Lazof the temple of Fame, and should aretto for lame and hobbling authbe as blind and inexorable as Jus- Therefore a large portion of tice, which, “in its punishments, the multitude of publications are rather seems to submit to a neces- at their birth ripe for extinction ; sity, than to make a choice.” and may be sentenced, as Clarence

Authors who, by plausible pro- in his troubled dream fancied he fessions and false pretensions, de- was addressed by an angry spirit, 'fraud the publick of money, dissi- “ Seize him, Furies, take him to pate valuable time, and insidiously your torments." rifle them of their good principles, are enemies of their kind, and merit the thong of chastisement and MATRIMONY is rarely contractthe knout of criticism; and he ed but by chance. Hence partthat undertakes the task of analyz- ners, widely differing in qualities ing their works, displaying their of mind, fortune, and situation in beauties, and exposing their wick- life, frequently form a jarring and ed arts, confers a favour on the discordant union. Many who atpublick. Harmless and obscure 1.mpt to obey the precept “almis writers, in their prefaces frequently adjungere vites," at length discover supplicate the candour of readers, that it is not the vine which they by observing that their hasty pro- have wedded to the elm, but the ductions will not injure, if they do deadly ivy, which destroys whatever not benefit mankind. But volun- it embraces. « Ut hedera serpens tary triling with the publick is vires arboreas necat." criminal ; and lenity to the former Some Benedicks, who by chance is cruelty to the latter. In esti- have crept along to thirty without mating the merit or demerit of lit- forming a domestick alliance, deerary productions, the motives and termine to take vengeance on tarcircumstances of the author con- dy Fortune, and bravely forswear



all thoughts of matrimony. But facility of Horace's poetaster, and nature will recur; and bright eyes receive as many sesterces for each and alluring smiles will operate on verse, as Virgil's patron presented them, as the genial rays of the ris. him, still a worldly wife would ing sun on the cold and marble soon dissipate their wealth in the statue of Memnon, causing it to circles of gaiety and fashion. send forth sounds of sweet mu. sick.* We need not despair of a

ALLITERATION. man as an unchangeable bachelor, Those who are fond of 6 apt till we observe him in his solitary alliteration's artful aid," may be rambles muttering and talking to amused by the following lines on himself; then he manifests Cardinal Wolsey. troubled mind and disordered fan- Begot by butchers, but by bishops bred, cy, like the maniack hermit, How high his honour holds his haughty

head. At times, alas! not in his perfect mind! Ancient authors frequently use Holds dialogues with his lov'd brother's

several successive words, comghost.

mencing with the same lefter ; It is a remarkable fact, that whether by chance or design is many of the brightest luminaries

uncertain. They never manifest of literature have spent their lives such an affectation and ambition in cold and cheerless celibacy. for alliteration as many of the modPope, Goldsmith, Locke, Pitt, erns have displayed.

erns have displayed. Tacitus, in Voltaire, Erasmus, and many oth- describing the manners of the Gerers, were bachelors.

man women, observes, “ Prima merely a Platonist in love. Dr. pars pectoris patet.” Johnson was indeed married ; but during the life of his dear Tetty" he seems not to have been very The education and discipline of warmiy attached to her ; his af- the minds of children are more in fection was rather posthumous. the power of the mother, than of The most exquisite literary pro- the father. The former has, or ductions have been the effects of ought to have, her young children exertions to relieve their authors constantly under her eye, and can from distressing poverty, want, rouse their curiosity, cherish their and necessity. The mind rarely mild and benevolent affections, and mukes great efforts, but to satisfy instruct theịr minds. Cowley, the cravings of the body, Wives Cumberland, and Sir William are not among the necessaries of Jones, when they had become emJife ; therefore they chose not to inent and distinguished, confessbecome bound to encounter the ed that their best powers were cares of the domestick state, and strengthened, and their finest feelto exchange the tranquillity of ings cherished by maternal care, midnight meditation for the bitter- vigilance, and anxiety. The biogness of curtain lectures. They rapher of Agricola, in relating the esteemed it less expensive and discipline of his early years, l'emore delightful, to be wedded to specting Julia Porcilla, his mothe nine Muses, than to one mor- ther, “ in hujus sinu indulgentiatal wife of flesh and blood. For, que educatus, per omnem hones: if they could write verses with the tarum artium cultum pueritiam

Swift was

adolescentiamque transegit.” * Memnonis saxea effigies, ubi radiis solis icta est, vocalem sonum reddens. Tacit. Annal. 2.31.



To the Author of the Silva, Num- teous hospitality ; steals a silver ber 11.

goblet from their generous host, In looking over the Anthology gives it to the avaricious wretch for the last year I observed in the

that treats them with sullen inci. Silva for January, that some gen. vility. The fifth day they meet a tieman has discovered so great a

merchant at the close of the evenresemblance in the story of Par: ing; as they approach a town; and nell's Hermit to that of the Her

on liis asking them the way to a mit in the 18th chapter of Vol-town," the young man puts him taire's Zadig, as to induce him to in a clear contrary way.” The suppose (and not unreasonably) merchant was loaded with money, that one of these two writers must and by the “misguiding” of the in this instance have borrowed from young man escaped both robbery the other. In fact, he has given

and assassination. Howel's letters to one of them a title, which both

were first published in 1645, and mig!'t have deserved ; for one, I

some of them were written as early believe, has not been more guilty

as 1618. of plagiarism, than the other. The story is much more ancient, than A RIDDLE, BY COW PER. either of these writers ; perhaps I am just two and two, I am warm, I indeed its first author may have ex.

am cold, isted earlier than the author to

And the parent of numbers that cannot whom I have seen it attributed.

be told. In a letter of the once popular, and I am lawful, unlawful a duty, a fault, indeed celebrated Howel to the

I am often sold dear, good for nothing marquis of Hartford, he speaks of an extraordinary boon, and a matter of

when bought, what he styles “ an excellent pas

course, sage, which a noble, speculative And yielded with pleasure when taken knight (Sir P. Herbert) hath in his by force. late conceptions to his son ; how a holy anchorite being in a wilderness, among other contemplations I gave my love the other day he fell to admire the method of

A riddle to explain ; Providence, how out of causes, And having read it o'er and o'er, which seem bad to us, he produ

She could not tell the name. ceth oftentimes good effects; how

Then on the fair I cast a glance, he suffers virtuous, loyal, and relig. I slily prest her rosy lips,

And gather'd resolution ; ious men to be oppressed, and oth- And stole the true solution. ers to prosper." The old hermit, transported with these ideas, meets

ANOTHER. wil's is a goodiy young man," and 'Tis not alone for love to solve travels with him for a few days.

Thy riddle's magick charm ; The young man, in Sir P. Her Ask the fond mother bending o’er bert's story, throws a person into That infant on her circling arm : the river, whom they meet with on Glowing with extacy divine, a narrow bridge, strangles the on

She clasps it to her throbbing breast; ly child of the gentleman who re

And solves the riddle o'er and o'er,

As kisses on its lips she prest. ceives them with the most cour


« PreviousContinue »